Churches respond to new poverty measures and tax avoidance

Churches respond to new poverty measures and tax avoidance

The Joint Public Issues Team of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church in Britain and the United Reformed Church has issued a statement about the Government's new poverty measures and tax avoidance.

The churches made a joint intervention back on 14 June, as reported on Ekklesia.

They add today (22 June 2012): "This week the Government announced that it was proposing to change the way that poverty is measured, moving from a measure of income to measures of characteristics which the Government believes cause poverty. The Baptist Union, Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church expressed concerns about this move. Read a further briefing on the issue here: http://www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/Briefing-on-changes-to-poverty-measu...

"Also this week, Times columnist David Aaronavitch accused the churches of ignoring issues of tax injustices. Here is the letter we wrote in response, together with Church Action on Poverty and Christian Aid.
David Aaronovitch’s (Pay tax according to conscience, not the law 20/6/12 http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/davidaaronovitch/articl...) asks why the Church was not talking about morality of by tax avoidance.

"He will be glad to know we are! A broad range of Christian groups including Church Action on Poverty, Christian Aid, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and the Baptist Union of Great Britain have frequently spoken out against tax avoidance as an injustice that keeps some people poor while others get richer. In an age of austerity, it is the moral duty of individuals and companies alike to pay their taxes according to both the letter and the spirit of the law.

"Tax avoidance denies help to the poorest and most vulnerable people both in the UK and in developing countries. Churches are seeking to expose the real human suffering caused by tax avoidance by taking the stories of people affected both here and overseas to towns and communities all around the UK and Ireland.

"For seven weeks this autumn Church Action on Poverty and Christian Aid will be on the road with our Tax Justice Bus Tour, to build support for action to tackle tax dodging. If Mr Aaronovitch wants to drop in and see Christians who care passionately about injustice he will be most welcome."

* Joint Public Issues Team: http://www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/

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